It’s been raining in the Ayr area all week so the racing has been abandoned which means the loss of the Ayr gold Cup. The Saturday highlight has not been rearranged as yet and Newbury now takes centre stage as the main meeting of the day. The feature races on the card are sponsored by Dubai Duty Free and Airport and the best race is the Trophy Stakes run at 4pm. The veteran Take Cover is the favourite and can do punters a big favour by winning this competitive race.
October is a huge month for Flat racing in Europe and the racing is superb. It’s the time of the year when the major end of season championship contests are run and the jumps season gets into gear. The racing next month includes the Arc meeting at Chantilly and Champions Day at Ascot and the first meeting of the season at Cheltenham. There is a lull in proceedings this weekend even more so now that Ayr has been lost. Take Cover can be the star of the show again.
The horse is now aged 10 but looked as good as ever when winning the Beverley Bullet over five furlongs at the start of the month. Take Cover did not get faster than walking pace going down to the start. However, when the gates opened he made all and held on gamely to beat Final Venture by one length. Take Cover has run 36 times on the Flat and won 12 of those races and finished second five times.
Take Cover won on his debut on the All Weather at Southwell in October 2011 so has now won his first and last races. His rating has gone from 65 to a career high of 113 most recently this time last year. He was rated 111 for the Beverley race so even late in his career the horse is just two pounds of his best. If Take Cover runs to that mark at Newbury on Saturday the 13th win could be in the bag.
The race is at Group 3 level over the minimum distance for horses aged three and older. There are weight allowances for fillies and young horses and Take Cover is a gelding so carries nine stones 1 pound. Muthmir and Priceless have penalties for winning Group contests in the past but Take Cover has never won beyond Listed level. The horse has the form to finally win a Group race in his seventh season.
Take Cover has two pounds in hand over the two top weights on Racing Post Ratings. He is their highest rated horse in the race and is proven over the distance. Age has not blunted Take Cover’s speed and he can blitz down the Newbury straight and pass the post in first place. The jockey is Harry Bentley who has never been on board in a race. He is the 17th pilot to ride Take Cover on the track which could be a record.
The horse probably doesn’t recognize the little chap he carries during his races but it’s a fine achievement to be still going strong after such a long career. Take Cover has never raced beyond seven furlongs and not longer than five since November 2015. He is a sprint specialist who can win in that discipline again at Newbury.